Gdynia City Museum

In 1983, the Gdynia City Museum was established. The first headquarters was Domek Abrahama at Starowiejska Street. The current headquarters since 2007 is located at the junction of the sea and land - the city beach in Gdynia.

Museum building

The building was made of light sandstone and its shape resembles a ship. The official opening of the new headquarters took place on November 16, 2007 in the presence of the then President of the Republic of Poland, Lech Kaczynski. The idea of establishing a city museum in Gdynia arose among the local elite in the 1960s. Their activity and determination resulted in the establishment of the City History Documentation Department by the Municipal Public Library. Its seat was a historic house from the early XXth century at Starowiejska Street 30, where Kashubian activist and Polish patriot Antoni Abraham lived for several years.

Over 14 years, scientists and project enthusiasts have collected several dozen thousand objects: photographs, postcards, documents of social life, posters, plans, maps, works of art, which became the basis of the collection of the Gdynia City Museum.

Tens of thousands of objects collected in the museum are a source of knowledge about the past and current life of the city and its inhabitants.

Gdynia city museum, photo: Pomorskie.Travel

Gdynia city museum, photo: Pomorskie.Travel

Gdynia – open work, permanent exhibition

The village of Gdynia had 1,000 inhabitants in 1920, only 20 years later the city already has 130,000 inhabitants and is becoming modern and modernist. The dream of access to the sea, as well as the modernization efforts of the young country, made the large Baltic port built from scratch and the city growing at an “American” pace become a matter of universal pride.

The history of Gdynia, like any good history, has many threads. Some are very important, others less so; some are explicit, others hidden. At the beginnings of Gdynia, it is easy to capture the most important threads: on the one hand, the dream of a modern, dynamic Poland, boldly looking to the future, and on the other – romantic patriotism rooted in national history. However, in the shadow of great historical and social processes, ordinary life went on. Gdynia women and men graduated from Gdynia schools, got married in Gdynia churches, buried their dead in Gdynia cemeteries, took care of their Gdynia tenement houses, rode Gdynia trolleybuses to work in the Gdynia shipyard, did their shopping in the Gdynia hall, went to sea from Gdynia, and returned to Gdynia. .

Permanent exhibition "Gdynia - open work, photo: Gdynia City Museum

Permanent exhibition "Gdynia - open work, photo: Gdynia City Museum

Without all this, there would be no history of Gdynia. The life of Gdynia is the life of Gdynia’s people, and Gdynia is their work, a work still open… The permanent exhibition at the Gdynia City Museum was inspired by an essay by Andrzej Szczerski, hence its name “Gdynia – an open work”, hence you can learn about the ordinary, everyday history and present of the city, as well as its image in the stories and imaginations of its inhabitants.

This is the history of Gdynia presented in many threads through the stories of its inhabitants focused around the exhibited objects, photographs and installations. The presented stories will not be limited to the local perspective – through the port character of Gdynia, they will show its importance for the history of Europe and the world.

Permanent exhibition "Gdynia - open work, photo: Gdynia City Museum

Permanent exhibition "Gdynia - open work, photo: Gdynia City Museum

By using symbols and non-obvious associations, as well as objects related to the history of the city, the exhibition is intended to encourage viewers to find broader cultural, historical and social contexts that create the image of contemporary Gdynia.

The exhibition consists of two main parts – a chronological and problematic story about the history of Gdynia from the decision to build the port in Gdynia to 1989, and history and issues focused around three concepts-problems related to Gdynia. The exhibition’s narrative begins with the beginnings of Gdynia, the role of its inhabitants and its wartime fate. However, issues focused around three concepts-problems related to Gdynia are presented cross-sectionally and problem-wise.

The exhibition is accompanied by questions about past and present Gdynia. What is the perception of Gdynia’s maritime myths and modernity today? What image did and do its inhabitants have of Gdynia? Do the beliefs and ideas created during the creation of the city require revaluation?



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